Former President Barack Obama led a chorus of Democrats Tuesday lashing out at the “gun lobby” and their political allies in Washington after an 18-year-old gunman slaughtered at least 19 children and 2 adults at a Texas grade school.
The shooting is said to be the worst school shooting since a gunman murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook — and ten days after Buffalo — our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
He went on to say, “It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy — a quieter but no less tragic one — for families to wait another day. May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.”
President Biden Tuesday night directed his remarks at the “gun lobby.”
“What struck me on that 17-hour flight, what struck me was these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why?” the president questioned. “They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”
SEE ALSO: Suspected teenage gunman kills 19 children in Texas elementary school
Mr. Biden said he is “sick and tired” of mass shootings and that “we have to act.”
“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Mr. Biden said. “When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
Other Democrats struck a harsher tone against the National Rifle Association.
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment.
“10 years since Sandy Hook. 10 days since Buffalo. When is enough truly ENOUGH? Our families and communities are screaming in anguish for action,” said Rep. Brad Sherman of California on his Twitter account. “How many more tragedies must we endure before the GOP hear their voices over the voices of the NRA and the gun lobby?”
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, California Democrat, blamed Tuesday’s massacre on lawmakers “beholden” to the NRA. “Innocent lives taken from us, not just by gun violence, but from inaction by politicians beholden to the NRA,” he said. “What will it take for Republicans to join us in passing gun safety legislation?”
Rep. Bill Pascrell, New Jersey Democrat, went after the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” mantra claiming that it failed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“Police engaged with the mass murderer *before* he rushed into the school,” Mr. Pascrell tweeted. “The republican claim that ‘good guys with guns’ is the solution to stopping mass murderers is another damn lie. A lie!”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York hinted that her own Democratic leadership failed and helped the NRA.
“On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of Roe, Democratic Party leadership rallied for a pro-NRA, anti-choice incumbent under investigation in a close primary,” she said in a tweet. “Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it. Accountability isn’t partisan. This was an utter failure of leadership.”
Other Democrats went after fellow Democrats Sen. Joseph Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona for not supporting the elimination of the legislative filibuster to pass further gun control restrictions.
Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Iowa Democrat, responded negatively to a report from The Hill that Mr. Manchin called for “common sense” gun limits, and still resisted filibuster reforms on Tuesday.
“This is the kind of cowardly BS that Washington politicians hide behind while kids are being killed in their schools,” she said. “Get rid of the filibuster and DO SOMETHING or just stop with your empty rhetoric and promises.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego, Arizona Democrat, who tweeted “F*** you @NRA,” among other profane tweets Tuesday night related to his anger about the deadly school shooting, told Ms. Sinema, to “break the filibuster” when she tweeted:
“We are horrified and heartbroken by the senseless tragedy unfolding at Robb Elementary School in Texas and grateful to the first responders for acting swiftly.”
She went on to say, “No families should ever have to fear violence in their children’s schools.”
He replied, “Please just stop.. unless you are willing to break the filibuster to actually pass sensible gun control measures you might as well just say ‘thoughts and prayers.’”
• Kerry Picket can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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